I've never been good at fancy appetizers. I try and try, and I get so excited when I find a recipe I can manage, like these lentil and goat cheese stuffed baby potatoes. The filling is a little like a souffle, which means that when you take the potatoes out of the oven, some of them will collapse. I thought I'd show you that, and tell you it's okay, and that the caved-in potatoes taste every bit as wonderful as the puffy ones. Red lentils (so good for you) add body, but not an obvious legume flavor. What melts in your mouth are the goat cheese, mashed potato and garlic in the filling. My friend Pat, who helped me test this recipe for Meatless Holidays, suggested we bump up the flavor with a bit of Sriracha; you can leave it out, but why would you? Cook the lentils ahead of time, according to the package directions; it will take just a few minutes. Serve these potatoes as soon as they come out of the oven.
Lentil and goat cheese stuffed baby potato appetizers
Slightly adapted from this recipe on lentils.ca. Makes 36 pieces; can be multiplied.
18 small red-skinned potatoes
3/4 cup cooked red lentils
1/2 cup goat cheese
2 Tbsp melted butter
1 Tbsp minced chives
1 large garlic clove, peeled and smashed
1/2 tsp Sriracha sauce, or more to taste
Kosher salt and fresh black pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with a Silpat (silicone mat) or parchment paper, and set aside.
Place the whole potatoes in a saucepan with cold water to cover. Cook on low heat for 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are just tender when pierced with a sharp knife. Remove from heat, drain, and rinse under cold water until they're cool enough to handle.
Slice the potatoes in half lengthwise. Use a melon baller to hollow out the center pulp from the potatoes, leaving a lip of 1/4 inch. Add the potato flesh to a food processor, along with the remaining ingredients. Taste and adjust the seasoning; we added more Sriracha, salt and pepper.
Place the potatoes on the baking sheet. If they roll around, use a very sharp paring knife to slice a small piece off the bottoms to keep them flat. With a pastry bag or spoon, fill the potatoes with the filling.
Bake for 15 minutes, until slightly golden. The filling will puff up in the oven, and will deflate a bit when you remove the pan. Don't worry. The taste is great, even if they fall down a bit!
Garnish with extra minced chives, and serve warm.
More luscious lentil recipes:
Greek lentil soup with red pepper and feta, from The Perfect Pantry
Slow cooker lentils with chicken sausage, spinach and feta cheese, from The Perfect Pantry
Lentil and chicken salad with raisins and feta cheese, from The Perfect Pantry
Curried rice and red lentils, from Kalyn's Kitchen
Spicy squash salad with lentils and goat cheese, from Smitten Kitchen
Disclosure: The Perfect Pantry earns a few pennies on purchases made through the Amazon.com links in this post. Thank you for supporting this site when you start your shopping here.